Today’s Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB) was founded in 2001, at that time still under the name of ZAB Brandenburg Economic Development Board. The bundling of settlement, technology promotion, foreign trade and energy consulting in the ZAB was a novelty in Germany. In 2014, Brandenburg became the first German federal state to offer workforce development alongside economic development from a single source with the WFBB.
2001 - Founding with the merger of three federal state companies (WFB, T.IN.A, BEA)
The year 2001 marked the start of the Brandenburg economic development agency as a one-stop agency. Three state companies merged to form the ZAB ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg GmbH, which went on to become today’s Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH (WFBB). For the first time, the local economy was offered support for settlement, portfolio development, foreign trade, innovation promotion and energy consulting from a single source in the State of Brandenburg. This was an absolute first for economic development in Germany!
The merger was accompanied by a close partnership between the ZAB and the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) and Brandenburg Capital.
The close cooperation was also evidenced by ZAB’s new main location at the ILB headquarters in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
2005 - Joint business trademark ‘Capital Region’ with Berlin
Brandenburg and Berlin collaborate closely in economic development. In 2005, the ZAB signed a collaboration agreement with the Economic Development Agency Berlin (now: Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH – Berlin Partner for Business and Technology). The business trademark ‘Capital Region’ was created, under which the two states jointly present themselves to this day as ‘Germany’s Capital Region’.
2008 - Start of the joint Airport Region Team in Schönefeld
Together, Brandenburg and Berlin founded the Airport Region Team (ART) in 2008. The mission of the ART is joint international investor recruitment for the economic region surrounding the Berlin Brandenburg ‘Willy Brandt’ airport (BER). The ART is staffed by the two state companies equally and has a joint office directly at the BER terminal.
2011 - Start of cluster management
In 2011, the collaboration between Brandenburg and Berlin was taken one step further: the two states adopted a joint cross-state cluster and innovation strategy. A pioneering step in Germany and far beyond. Implementation in the five joint clusters Energy Technology, Healthcare Industries, ICT/Media/Creative Industries, Transport/Mobility/Logistics and Photonics is performed to this day by cluster managements at the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (previously the ZAB) and at Berlin Partner. This is supplemented by the ZAB/WFBB’s cluster managements for the three Brandenburg state clusters Food Industry, Plastics/Chemistry and Metal Industry. The Brandenburg cluster Tourism is supported by Tourismus Marketing Brandenburg GmbH.
2014 - First state economic development agency to offer both economic and workforce development from a single source
The year 2014 saw a new milestone for Brandenburg’s economic development: the Brandenburg state government expanded the ZAB to form the first fully integrated economic and workforce development services. To this day, the division WFBB Labour (then ZAB Labour) provides consultation and support for the recruitment, development and qualification of skilled employees with corresponding consulting on funding programmes, which continues to be one of the most sought-after WFBB services to this day.
In the same year, the WFBB launched the new georeferenced, multimedia industry portal ‘Brandenburg Business Guide’, which supports companies looking for the best location for their investment projects.
2015 - 50,000th workplace
In 2015, the WFBB celebrated the 50,000th job resulting from the business projects supported by its employees since its founding in 2001.
2017 - Change of company name as Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH, the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB)
2017: Bye-bye, ZukunftsAgentur – welcome, Economic Development Agency Brandenburg! In April, the company was renamed Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH, the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB). At the same time, the WFBB acquired its new company headquarters in the newly constructed buildings of the ILB directly next to Potsdam’s central station – close to the political centre of the state and its capital.
Under the new trademark, the WFBB pooled its diverse services in six service packages: for investments, innovation, skilled employees, start-ups, internationalisation and energy consulting.
2018 - New structure
In 2018, the WFBB further optimised its structure: the previous four divisions were combined to form two divisions, and the Department for Business Location Development and Department of Regional Offices were created.
Collaboration with the regional economic development agencies was intensified and formalised in collaboration agreements.
2019 - Largest settlement success achieved with Tesla
12 November 2019 was a very special day for the WFBB: this was the day when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the settlement of the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg – the biggest settlement success in the history of Brandenburg´s economic development! The decision catapulted Brandenburg into the Champions League of the automotive industry – and marks the kick-off for a new value-added chain of modern mobility in the state.
2020 - Energy Agency of the state of Brandenburg the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg
Since 2020, the WFBB has been the carrier of the Energy Agency of the State of Brandenburg. The energy agency advises companies and municipalities on all issues relating to the efficient use of energy and increasing the share of renewable energies.
2021 - 20th anniversary
Congratulations! In 2021, the WFBB celebrated an anniversary: Wirtschaftsförderung Land Brandenburg GmbH has now been working towards your success in Brandenburg for over 20 years. And the story continues …
WFBB – your economic development agency
If you also wish to start or continue your success story in Brandenburg or are planning an investment, developing an innovation, aiming to internationalise, looking for skilled employees, or are seeking advice with regard to energy efficiency – then we are on hand to help whatever your questions. We look forward to talking to you!